Distillation: Conversation 2010 Day Four

From our final half-day together at Conversation 2010 at Colonial Williamsburg, Tom Soma distilled the following…

Telling the story –or— Living the dream

“Life calls us to experiment and change.”

“The world moves on.”
The world needs to move on.

Every moment
is a step into the unknown.

Staying put
is not an option.

We reside
permanently
in a middle place—

all teachers,
all students,
forever defining
and re-defining,
inventing,
and re-inventing
ourselves.

“In my end,”
writes T.S. Eliot,
“is my beginning.

“The end is where we start from…

“And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place
for the first time.”

In a crucible here,
once,
a nation was born of ideas.

To what
will our exchange
give birth?

Where,
when,
how,
and why
should we continue digging?

Here.
And now.
However we may.
Because we must.

But as we dig,
let us plant.

At this simultaneous ending and beginning,
I bestow deep gratitude—
and these parting seeds
(not surprisingly,
in the form of questions):

What do I seek to inspire and achieve?
Who do I hope to attract and engage?
How would I like to be remembered and celebrated?

From these questions,
the poetry of  my life will emerge.

The answers will be evident
soon enough,

and written, perhaps,
someday,
by someone else…

Tom Soma
1 May 2010

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